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AC35: Day 8, Playoffs Race 1 – JPN v. SWE; GBR breakdown can't be repaired in time, so NZL goes

SoftBank Team Japan v. Artemis Racing. Dean Barker (NZL) v. Nathan Outteridge (AUS). Close start, side by side off the line. Artemis just ekes out a lead at the bear-away mark. On the upwind Leg 3 a faster crosses ahead of SWE and sails into a comfortable 300m lead with a Fly Time that is 99% to SWE's 96%.

To my eye, JPN is as fast and able to sail slightly lower down the run. SWE splits at the Leg 4 gate, heading upwind right while JPN goes left. Sideline to sideline racing yet again. Artemis has gained a bit, despite the TV commentators saying the opposite, now only 133m behind.

Lot of TV talk about oil pressure, or lack thereof, limiting the ability of the teams to tack when they want to as you. There is chatter among the sailors to that effect coming off the boats via the TV mics.

JPN extends again on the run Leg 6 run. Artemis again crashes off their foils during a jibe. This does not look like the SWE team we've seen in previous breezy race days. NZL win by :23.

So one lead change, and the faster boat wins Race 1 of the JPN-SWE Semi, which is first to win five.

Word just came on the TV commentary that GBR is done for the day (that fist race breakdown), so NZL will go up 2-0 over GBR without having to finish the second race. But they will have to start the race, and then the umpires will black flag GBR for not showing up, and the match will be awarded to NZL. So only one more race today – the second race of the SWE-JPN Semifinal.

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